I think one of the biggest hassles with instant messaging is that itís tied to the computer. If Iím away from the computer, like watching tv, I may miss an important IM. I can leave the speakers on the PC really loud, but then Iím always jumping up and running back to the PC to read an incoming IM in case itís important. Most of the time itís not. I can subscribe to a service with my cell phoneóbut that costs money. So here is (I think) the perfect solution, and a good GAIM plug-in thatís not too much work.

I just installed a Pluto Home system (plutohome.com). Itís a free, open source smarthome and media server. You put Bluetooth dongles on all the pcís in your house, and then when you enter a room your Symbian Bluetooth phone turns into a remote control for everything in that room. It already tracks your movementóif you start listening to music in 1 room, your music will follow you as you move with your phone to another room. And it already sends messages to the phone based on events. For example, when the song changes, the cover art shown on my phone changes to show me whatís playing.

So that got me thinkingÖ Why not make a GAIM plugin for pluto so that whenever I get an IM, I see it on my Bluetooth phone? That way I can either type a reply on the phone, or go back to the computer if I want to use the keyboard, or ignore it if itís not important. And Iím not having to run back and forth to the computer to check IM. And itís free since it uses Bluetooth! Plus, I think itís such a real convenience it would be a great way to get people to switch to GAIM.

I talked to the programmers at Pluto and they said it would be really easy since their stuff is already written in small modules and plugins. However, since weíre all open source, we could also just take whatever pieces were useful and do something completely new using the same concept.

Many of the other GAIM projects listed are either specific for only some users (like Apple iChat), or would only be used by geeks (like the Perl interpreter). But not having to run back and forth to the computer is something everybody wants (imho). I donít see how to recommend a new idea for GAIM, so Iíll just try the forums and hope somebody else likes it too.